As so many of us have been unable to go away in the last 12 months, we know there is huge pent-up demand for holidays, with many eager to book a well-deserved break.
If you’re dreaming of your next chance to get away but are unsure what the current uncertainty around travel means for your plans, the following advice from ABTA takes you through everything you need to know to book with confidence this year, so that you have a holiday to look forward to when travel recommences.
1. Use the expertise of an ABTA Member to help you plan your trip
Our Members are experts at finding the best holiday to suit their customers’ preferences, and at a competitive price. They’ll look after you every step of the way, including doing all the research, giving you the latest advice for your destination and keeping you up-to-date on any restrictions or measures that you need to be aware of.
2. Book a package holiday
Booking a package holiday provides the best form of protection for your travel plans, as your holiday will be protected under the Package Travel Regulations. This means you have a right to a replacement holiday or a full refund if your holiday is significantly altered by a change in the situation at your destination.
3. Check the Foreign Office advice for your destination and sign up to the alerts
You can keep up to date with Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office travel advice for the country you’re visiting at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice, which includes local rules relating to coronavirus. We recommend signing up to receive country specific email alerts so that any important updates go straight into your inbox.
4. Book early for the most choice and best prices
There is massive pent-up demand for holidays, so by booking ahead of others you’ll be able to take advantage of the best deals such as free child places or room upgrades and secure the accommodation and resort of your choice.
5. Note that flexible booking policies are available
On top of the existing protections that come with booking a package holiday, many ABTA Members are also offering additional benefits or flexible cancellation and rebooking policies, such as allowing you to change your arrangements free of charge at a later date if needed.
6. Take out travel insurance
Make sure you take out comprehensive travel insurance to cover your specific needs as soon as you book your trip. Many insurance policies now include different types of cover for coronavirus, so read the policy details carefully to ensure it has the level of cover you want. For more advice on travel insurance, visit www.abta.com/travelinsurance.
7. Make sure you have the documents you need
Many destinations, including those in the EU, require you to have at least six months left on your passport, so check it will be valid for your travel dates and allow plenty of time to renew it if necessary. You should also apply for any visas you need in plenty of time and visit TravelHealthPro to find the latest travel health advice for your destination.
8. If you’re travelling to Europe, check to see if there are any additional steps you may need to take
Now that the UK has left the EU, it’s important to familiarise yourself with the extra steps you may need to take to get ready for your trip. This includes checking you have a valid passport and the right documents for driving or taking your pet abroad. Visit our advice page at www.abta.com/brexit for more information.
9. Plan and pack for a safe journey
As your departure date nears, make sure you’re up to date on the latest measures and documentation required for travel, both for your journey and once you arrive in destination. Revisit the FCDO travel advice pages for the country you are visiting and if you have any questions about your holiday, your ABTA Member travel provider will be able to offer you further support and guidance.
10. Look forward to your holiday
Having more time to enjoy the excitement of heading off on holiday is one of the most common reasons why people book in advance, so once your trip is booked, you can sit back and look forward to heading off on your much-deserved break.